After moving to Antwerp in front of Van Gogh, the issue of earnings became acute. Possessing the artist’s talent, he could draw views of the city for sale to tourists or create signboards of shops and restaurants. He also planned to fulfill orders for portraits. In addition to earnings, the writing of portraits had for Van Gogh the role of a kind of training before creating more serious things.
The image of people requires a high degree of skill and practical experience. To get comfortable in this business, Van Gogh begins to write self-portraits. Almost all of them were created for the purpose of training.
This self-portrait of 1886 is made in the traditional realistic vein. For the background, Van Gogh chose a dark brown color. He also writes his face and shoulders in dark, though colder tones. A narrow strip of light emits a face on the general background, which allows the viewer to concentrate completely on it. Van Gogh does the main emphasis on the face and eyes, in which attention is read and tense concentration on the work process.
The harmony and integrity of the picture shows that by the time of writing, Van Gogh has already achieved a sufficient level of skill. But the formation of his unique and unique creative manner will happen much later.